Rome in one day: the best route


This guide of what to see in Rome in one day It is designed to know the best of the city for travelers who have very little time or for your first day in the Eternal City.
We know that Rome is an endless city and impossible to see in 24 hours, although if you optimize well the routes on foot or by public transport, that pass through the main points of interest of the city, you can take a good first view of everything That this city has.
Packed with archaeological sites and buildings of the ancient Roman Empire, baroque squares and fountains, neighborhoods to get lost in its narrow streets, old churches and an endless number of charming corners, in Rome you will also enjoy one of the best gastronomies in the world based of pasta and fresh products of the highest quality.

Based on the three times we have visited this impressive city, the last on a trip that we stayed for a month in Trastevere and from where we wrote this travel guide to Rome step by step, we have made this guide to know the best from Rome in one day.

How to get from Rome airport to downtown

Rome has two airports: Fiumicino (30 kilometers away) and Ciampino (15 kilometers away), where direct flights land from Spain and most European cities.
To get to the center from these two airports you have the following options:

  • Bus: Terravision buses make the transfer of Fiumicino in 30 minutes and from Ciampino in about 40 minutes to Termini Station, for a price of 5 euros, 9 euros round trip. The departure of these buses is synchronized with the arrival of the flights, so the waiting time is very short. There are other companies that make the journey like Flixbus, which stops at the Vatican.
  • Train: Leonardo Express will take you from Fiumicino Airport to Termini Station in 30 minutes for 14 euros. From Ciampino you will have to first take a bus that will leave you at Ciampino station and from there a train to Termini and in total you will pay less than 3 euros but you will lose time with waiting.
  • Cab: They have a fixed price to the center being in Fiumicio of about 50 euros and in Ciampino of 30 euros.
  • Direct transfer: It is the most comfortable and quick way to get to the hotel from these two airports. If you book this service here a driver will wait for you at the exit of the terminal, raising a sign with your name and will take you directly to the door of your hotel.

You can find more detailed information about the transfer in this post about how to get from Fiumicino Airport to Rome and in this post about how to get from Ciampino Airport to Rome.

Where to sleep in Rome

A good option to stay in the Rome in one day, with good communication with the airport, it is close to the Termini station, located 15 minutes walk from the Colosseum and the old town of Rome.
We have stayed twice in this area, the first in the Hotel Cherubini, a basic hotel according to its price and the second in the UNA Hotel, more expensive than the previous one, although with a better value for money.

If you are going to spend more days and prefer to stay in a neighborhood with more charm and gastronomic offer we recommend the Residenza San Calisto, located in a historic building a few meters from Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere.

You can expand the accommodation information by reading this post about the best neighborhoods to stay in Rome.

Other tips for Rome

Other recommendations and tips for a good stay in the eternal city are:

  • Check if you find it profitable to book the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card, a card with which you will have free and skip-the-line access to the main attractions of Rome and the Vatican, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Vatican Museums. Also included are significant discounts to 30 other attractions in the city and unlimited public transport.
  • Look at the prices of the cards, drinks and «Coperto» before sitting at any restaurant located in a tourist area or nearby.
  • Arrive a little before dawn to see the most famous places like the Colosseum or the Trevi Fountain, without people.
  • Use the N26 card to pay and the BNEXT card to get money, they will not charge you commission and you will have the current change. You can find much more information on this topic in the post The best cards to travel without commissions.
  • Book this free tour of the city center or this free tour of mysteries and legends, located both among the best free tours in Rome for free with a guide in Spanish.

For more recommendations you can consult this post of tips to travel to Rome essential.

What to see in Rome in one day

The route of what to see in Rome in one day Start early in the morning by visiting the Roman Colosseum, which opens at 8:30 in the morning. In this 2000-year-old amphitheater you will move to the era of maximum splendor of the Roman Empire when more than 50,000 people enjoyed shows such as gladiator fights and battle reproductions.
When going just in time it can be very interesting to book this guided tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine or this tour that also includes the entrance to the gladiatorial arena, with which you will avoid the long queues that form in the access to the Colosseum and You will also know the history of each place by the hand of an expert guide in Spanish.

Map of the route through Rome in one day